Final performance and lesson-learned of SAXO, the VLT-SPHERE extreme AO: from early design to on-sky results
The extreme AO system, SAXO (SPHERE AO for eXoplanet Observation), is the heart of the SPHERE system, feeding the scientific instruments with flat wave front corrected from all the atmospheric turbulence and internal defects. We will present the final performance of SAXO obtained during the instrument AIT in Europe as well as the very first on-sky results. The main requirements and system characteristics will be recalled and the full AO loop performance will be quantified and compared to original specifications. It will be demonstrated that SAXO meets or even exceeds (especially its limit magnitude and its jitter residuals) its challenging requirements (more than 90% of SR in H band and a 3 mas residual jitter). Finally, after 10 years of AO developments, from early design to final on-sky implementations, some critical system aspects as well as some important lesson-learned will be presented in the perspective of the future generation of complex AO systems for VLTs and ELTs.